The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR retains the same 35-zone metering sensor as its predecessor. Available patterns include Evaluative metering, which is linked to all AF points and is set automatically in the Basic Zone modes, Centerweighted average metering, Partial metering and Spot metering, covering approximately 9 percent or 3.8 percent of the viewfinder at center, respectively. The camera’s E-TTL II autoflash and 12 exposure control modes (11 AE modes plus manual) are also unchanged from the EOS 30D SLR model. However, as a result of consumer input, Canon has added three Custom exposure modes. As an added convenience, particularly for wireless flash operations, users can adjust the flash settings of the Canon Speedlite 580EX II directly from the camera.
The Canon EOS 40D camera offers ISO speeds from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 in 1/3-stop increments. Users can also opt for a high-speed setting of ISO 3200. For the first time in any EOS camera, the 40D model offers Auto ISO capability in Creative Zone exposure modes. This valuable new feature adjusts the ISO speed to the optimal setting based on low light or shaky shooting conditions. Additionally, the EOS 40D provides full-time display of the active ISO speed setting, both in the viewfinder as well as on the top LCD data panel.
The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR is also the first camera in its class to offer two interchangeable focusing screens in addition to the standard precision matte screen. Users can opt for a grid-type focus screen that makes it easier to verify horizontal or vertical alignment while determining image composition, as well as the Super-Precision Matte focusing screen that makes it easier to grasp the “sweet spot” of manual focusing when using a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster.
Enhanced Live View
Previously the province of the EOS-1D Mark III DSLR (one of Canon’s top-tier professional cameras), the Live View function now gives EOS 40D camera users an expanded and exceedingly convenient and comfortable set of shooting options. By permitting the framing and capturing of subjects using the camera’s LCD screen instead of the viewfinder, the shooter gains a 100 percent field view to more easily achieve the desired composition. A new Custom Function on the EOS 40D allows autofocus during Live View by pressing the camera’s AF-ON button. At that point, the reflex mirror goes down and AF is carried out in the normal way. Letting go of the AF-ON button resumes Live View functions. Also, in the Live View shooting mode the user can magnify the image by five or ten times in order to ensure that the shot is optimally focused. Live View is at its best during tripod shooting – particularly for close-up photography where precise focusing is imperative. As a side benefit, the Live View shooting mode helps to reduce vibration by lifting the reflex mirror out of the optical path well in advance of the exposure, improving image quality at slow shutter speeds. A new electronic 1st-curtain shutter function in Live View mode reduces release time lag and operational noise even further to avoid spooking wildlife or disturbing people nearby with unwanted camera sounds. Additionally, as the release time lag is miniscule, even instantaneous movements like a bird taking flight can be readily captured.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
First introduced on the EOS Digital Rebel XTi camera, the EOS Integrated Cleaning System is a prime example of trickle-up technology and is now becoming a standard feature on all new EOS Digital SLRs. The camera’s Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to literally shake dust particles off of the low-pass filter in front of the sensor each time the camera is powered up or shut down. Users also have the option of engaging the “clean now” function at will or bypassing it altogether. Additionally, the EOS 40D SLR’s manual sensor cleaning function raises the mirror and allows users to clean dust that has stuck to the low-pass filter.
Dust that has been shaken or blown loose is then trapped by adhesive at the base of the sensor unit housing, preventing the problematic particles from reattaching themselves to the filter when the camera moves. The second part of the cleaning system is a software solution that maps the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor. The mapped information is saved as Dust Delete Data and attached to the image file. Subsequently, the offending dust information is subtracted from the final image during post processing with a compatible personal computer, using the supplied Digital Photo Professional software.
Among the most valuable features of the Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR is its compatibility with Canon’s Picture Style Editor (PSE) 1.0 software. With PSE, shooters can actually design the look of their photographs by inputting their own preferred style, color and tone curves. The EOS 40D Digital SLR also ships with the latest versions of Canon's powerful software applications, including Digital Photo Professional 3.1 and EOS Utility 2.1, which now support the camera's Remote Live View and Dust Delete Data functions, as well as incorporating a broad range of additional improvements designed to improve image quality and speed up workflow. Also included are ZoomBrowser EX 5.8 and ImageBrowser 5.8 for easy browsing, viewing, printing and archiving with compatible computer operating systems, including Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as Mac OS X.
New system accessories for the EOS 40D SLR include the redesigned high-capacity Battery Grip BG-E2N, which facilitates high-volume shooting and easier vertical shooting. Compatible with up to two BP-511A battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries, the battery grip approximately doubles the number of shots that can be taken, compared with the battery power of the EOS 40D SLR alone. The BG-E2N grip features new sealing material around the battery compartment to better resist water and dust. The new model replaces the original BG-E2 grip and is compatible with the EOS 20D, 30D and 40D models.
Designed exclusively for the EOS 40D SLR, the new Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3A*/** permits wireless transfer and back-up, as well as remote control of the camera in Live View mode. It can also be connected to various GPS receivers or Hi-Speed USB 2.0 external storage devices such as convenient flash drives or high-capacity hard drives with much larger storage capacity than the memory cards in the camera for instant back-up as images are captured. Compact and affordable, the WFT-E3A wireless transmitter also doubles as a vertical grip and requires its own BP-511A battery pack in addition to the battery installed in the camera body.
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Developed in response to consumer demand for a high-quality yet affordable optically image stabilized lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS standard zoom lens adds a phenomenally flexible lens to the EOS 40D SLR shooter’s imaging arsenal. While it features the wide-angle to mid-range zoom flexibility of its non-IS predecessor, this new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens offers the significant advantage of a true lens-shift image stabilization system that yields up to a full four stops of image-shake correction.
The higher performance provided by Canon’s lens shift IS system (compared with the in-camera sensor shift type offered in some competitive SLRs) includes the ability to optimize the lens performance for specific shooting situations such as low-light, long-zoom or movement while shooting (or virtually any combination of the three). What’s more, the shooter can see the image stabilization effect in the viewfinder. As the image already appears steady, more accurate framing and composition is possible, the AF point can be placed more precisely, and the photographer can concentrate on the optimal shot more comfortably.
Compact and lightweight, the optional EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens is manufactured by Canon specifically for the EOS 40D SLR and any other EOS SLR that takes EF-S lenses including the EOS 30D, EOS 20D, EOS 20Da, EOS Digital Rebel XTi, EOS Digital Rebel XT and the original EOS Digital Rebel camera. An ideal complement to the EOS 40D SLR, the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is scheduled to be in stores in October at an estimated selling price of $199.99.i
The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR is scheduled for early September delivery and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated selling price of $1,299.00i. It will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon’s EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated selling price of $1,499.00i.